Although Microsoft still dominates the desktop PCs, Linux has a large base of users in business-related settings as a server operating system. Almost all the major web sites operate on the Linux platform, including Google, Wikipedia and Facebook just to name a few. It is therefore not surprising that there is a growing demand for professionals with skills in Linux, which can command up to 30% higher salaries than those of Microsoft, who provide support to colleagues.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the most popular Linux distribution among medium and large companies, and Red Hat has developed their own training and certification to ensure that professional standards are kept very high.
There are three levels of certification offered by Red Hat - RHCT (Red Hat qualified person), RHCA (Red Hat Certified Architect) and RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer).
RHCT is the entry-level certification that is suitable for junior-level administrators to manage Linux systems. Topics covered include package management, administration, and file systems.
RHCE is a respected qualification that shows a good knowledge for using and troubleshooting Red Hat Enterprise. Topics covered include advanced package management, kernel configuration, Web services, and virtualization.
It is very difficult to achieve the RHCA qualification. As a result this appointment is currently held by fewer than 1,000 people around the world. To achieve the qualification of RHCA, one must pass a total of six exams including: Red Hat Enterprise Security, RedHat Enerprise deployment, Network Services, and virtualization and systems management. Also, part of the qualification process includes taking a RedHat Directory Services and identification test along with RedHat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management. Finally, successful RHCA candidates will have to get past RedHat enterprise systems monitoring coupled with review performance tuning. Those who reach the pinnacle of RHCA training can expect to find themselves in high demand and command a large salary.
For those unfamiliar with Linux, RHCT is the original premier level of Linux training. RHCT certification gives engineers in the field a powerful base from which to launch their careers as Linux administrators.